DOJ collects $1.5 million in environmental forfeitures

Wisconsin Department of Justice officials say they’ve collected about $1.5 million from polluters in 2017.

The agency issues a news release Wednesday saying the agency completed 49 environmental enforcement cases during the year, resulting in $1.45 million in forfeitures and surcharges. The release says the agency also secured another $18.6 million for environmental improvement projects.

During the last quarter of the year DOJ obtained judgments in 15 state enforcement cases and in one federal Superfund case. According to the release, that case secured $332,000 for wild rice restoration projects on the Wisconsin side of the St. Louis River estuary near Superior.

Environmentalists have criticized Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel for not extracting more money from polluters and not publicizing environmental enforcement actions.

Schimel faces Democrat Josh Kaul in November’s elections.